Santa Elena and Monteverde

That night we stopped in the mountain town of Santa Elena. Actually we spent the next two nights there. This whole area seems to be referred to collectively as Monteverde. The final 30km to Santa Elena was all on muddy dirt roads. Thank goodness Dave & Christine had the foresight to rent us a big honkin' four wheel drive station wagon.

When we got to the little hotel where we had made a reservation, they had never heard of us, and had no rooms. Eventually they found Christine's name scribbled on a piece of paper with no other information. The place was clearly undergoing some sort of logistical difficulties. They found us some rooms in the next place down the hill...which we found out later was built there by the ex-wife of the guy who owned the first place. This probably explains the emotional strain that permeated the air in both places, which made our stay there less comfortable than we would have liked. But that's another story. In any event, if you ever travel to Costa Rica and decide to stay in Santa Elena, try to avoid the Sunset Hotel and the Hotel Sunkiss, at least until they've worked out their differences.

Santa Elena is right next to the "cloud forest", and seems to be under a perpeptual cloud of mist. This means that there is always a rainbow around someplace. Our big activity of the day, or night rather, was an evening nature hike with a guide. The mist and dark made it hard to take photos but I got a few.

One of the aforementioned rainbows. Oooooh. Aaaah.

The evening nature walk. Fortunately, we all had lots of prior experience with stumbling around in the dark on trails from our years of Wednesday night hikes in Santa Barbara.

Tarantula! In a hole, probably hoping not to be seen. Costa Rica has lots of cool bugs. More bugs coming up.

Inside a strangler fig tree, looking up. If our trip to Costa Rica had an official word, it would probably be epiphyte.

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